Thursday, July 02, 2015

Travis Simpkins

A gentleman named Travis Simpkins sent me a note today that contained praise for Freemasons For Dummies, along with a sketch he made of me. He said he is going to petition a lodge at the end of the summer (apparently they're 'dark' in July and August).

I have received literally hundreds of messages like this over the years saying they read the Dummies book and can't wait to join, which is always a deeply humbling experience for me every time it happens. But this is the first time someone has made a portrait of me to go with it.

I told him that he had real talent if he could make me look good...

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Liberian Presidential Candidate Declares Country Needs Mason At The Helm

The African nation of Liberia has a Mason running for President who thinks the country needs to elect a Freemason to save it from it's ills. From the Global News Network website:
Liberia’s respected businessman Benoni Urey, owner of several businesses in Liberia has resolved to solicit the total support among members of his fraternity, the Freemason or Masonic craft, a secret society that was established in the country during the 1800s in his bid for the Liberian presidency come 2017.
Speaking as Orator at the celebration of Saint John the Baptist Day during the week in Monrovia, Mr. Urey said that the much anticipated new Liberia where there would be economic opportunities, social amenities for all, vibrant health and education sectors, justice, and infrastructural development, which he claimed the Unity Party led government has failed to deliver, must be brought to reality by a government led by a mason.
Mr. Urey believes the dictates of that government would emanate from the Grand Masonic Temple, popularly known as “Up the Hill,” located on West Benson Street in Monrovia.
Serving as an orator at the celebration of Saint John the Baptist Day on Wednesday in Monrovia, Mr. Urey, who is a strong ally of former President Charles Taylor, indicated that the Free Masons must produce the next president that will build a new Liberian, stressing, “We must build a new Liberia because there is a need to improve the Masonic craft and our country,” he said.
The Feast Day was organized by 14 of the subordinate lodges of the Free Masons. Mr. Urey spoke on the theme, “The Role of the Free Mason in the New Liberia.”
“The new government that is to succeed this government in 2018 must be led by a mason. Brethren, I want to let you know that the new Liberia that we all are striving to build for our people must be led by one of our kind,” Mr. Urey declared to a standing ovation of his fellow masons, who were all splendidly outfitted in the craft attires.
He also noted that in the 2017 elections, members of the society will get involved to ensure that the right people are elected.
Mr. Urey indicated that members of the Freemason society in Liberia have been silent for too long as they watch the country go in the wrong direction, but said it is now time for them to stand up and speak out.
Their inability to speak against the ills in the society makes them equally as guilty as those who carried on vices against the state, Urey indicated.
“We have a health sector that is so bad off that many of our people die on a daily basis while we are breeding a generation of people who lack the requisite education and the system is at its lowest level ever in the history of the country,” said Urey.
“The new Liberia must have a God fearing man and the new leader must be his brothers’ keeper. He must be an upright man,” Urey said, indicating that those attributes clearly put masons at an advantage because their craft teaches them those noble principles.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Fraternal Industry Facing Financial Challenges

Freemasonry is a brotherhood with a fascinating heritage, symbolism, and secrets that bind us to each other. It is  truly about the dedication of one brother to another. Fortunately, we didn't get into the insurance business, and our retirement homes have been finding new ways to reach out to the public for business, or they have sold off or closed. The rest of the fraternal world has not been so lucky.
A.M. Best, an insurance rating company, has released a report that focuses on the challenges being faced by the U.S. fraternal industry, a segment of not-for-profit organizations that offer life insurance and retirement products.
According to the Best’s Special Report titled, “U.S. Fraternal Industry Facing Challenging Demographics,” A.M. Best has identified several significant challenges over the past decade that are expected to place negative ratings pressure on these fraternal benefit societies (fraternals). These issues include changing demographics, which lead to declining membership; expanding distribution; a shift toward interest-sensitive product lines; pressure on operating margins; and heightened regulatory and technology costs.
Fraternals offer life insurance and retirement products to support members and fund community support through charitable donations, volunteerism and educational support. Fraternals face some challenges that are similar to the issues facing the general U.S. life industry, namely, the need to modernize distribution systems, achieve top-line revenue growth, increase market penetration (particularly in the middle income market), and maintain relevance and appeal to younger generations.
While the rating trend generally remains stable, negative rating actions may occur for those fraternals with declining membership, lower capitalization ratios, a shifting business mix toward heightened interest sensitivity and negative earnings trends.
For a full copy of this special report, please visit:http://www3.ambest.com/bestweek/purchase.asp?record_code=238812. Sorry, but you have to sign up and pay for it.

Indiana Masons: Freemasons and the Indianapolis Colts 9/21

ATTENTION ALL INDIANA MASONS! The Grand Lodge of Indiana is excited to announce that it has once again partnered with the Indianapolis Colts for an evening of football, fellowship, and fun!  This year, Grand Master William Reiners has raised the bar by securing a regular season game, and to make it even more exciting, it is the season home opener for the Colts.  Everyone is encouraged to bring family and friends, because the more the merrier!  Register Here
The Colts and Grand Lodge have teamed up to offer several opportunities to be a part of the event this year.  Grand Lodge is offering three different ticketing options in order to suit everyone’s budget.  The Colts have invited Indiana Freemasonry to perform the flag ceremony again, and this year’s flag ceremony will be televised live on ESPN!  Everyone who participates in the flag ceremony will receive a FREE masonic Colts jersey.  Additional jerseys will be made available for purchase as well.We also have a VIP Pre-party planned with food, and a cash bar. Last year was a huge success, and we hope you and your lodge will mark your calendar for this event and join us for an evening of fun, fellowship and celebration of Freemasonry!
Of course, you are wondering what date you need to mark! Monday, September 21 at 8:30pm EST the Indianapolis Colts will take on the New York Jets in their at home season opener, and the Indiana Freemasons will be there in full force! Bring the family, support the Craft by displaying the American Flag on national television, enjoy the VIP Pre-party and then watch our Colts open the season with a victory over the Jets! 
Before we get too far, let’s look at all of the details of this event, so that you can easily share them with every member of your lodge.
Tickets to the Game
First things first, you need a ticket for the event. We have several levels available. 
            • $59.00 tickets located in the 600 section
            • $66.00 tickets located in the 500 section
            • $109.00 tickets located in the 300 section
There are limited amounts of tickets in each section, and once they are gone, they are gone. As you will see with all of these details, regular season games are in high demand, so be sure to get involved as soon as possible before it sells out.
Participating in the Flag Ceremony
This year we can only allow 250 people on the Flag Ceremony. This is due to the restriction on regular season games and televised ceremonies. There are some guidelines we must follow:
            • You must indicate your participation on the registration form when you purchase your tickets.
            • No one under 18 may participate in the Flag Ceremony
            • You must purchase a ticket to participate in the Flag Ceremony, we cannot accomodate season ticket holders due to the limited availability of the passes.The first 250 to sign up will be the only ones allowed to participate, no exceptions.
            • You must be physically able to participate. It is not easy, and involves running. Please, if you have any difficulty, do not endanger yourself in this ceremony.
            • You must arrive by 5pm at the stadium for the practice of the Ceremony.
            • All Flag Ceremony Participants will receive a FREE masonic Colts Jersey. This Jersey must be worn during the ceremony, and will be picked up at the event ONLY.
            • We must enter and exit the field quickly, or there will be heavy fines from the NFL and the networks.
Exclusive VIP Pre-Party
Let’s tailgate in style! We will have a VIP Pre-party available to everyone who wishes to attend for only $35. The party will be from 6pm to 8pm, so that all who are in the Flag Ceremony practice may attend if they wish, and everyone will be in their seats in time to watch the pre-game events. The party will include in its ticket price: Johnsonville Bratwurst, Gourmet Hamburger Bar, Served with all the trimmings. Apple Jalapeno Cole Slaw, Red Bliss Potato Salad, Lays Ruffled Potato Chips, Rold Gold Pretzels, Roselyn Recipe Chocolate Fudge Brownies, Assorted Gourmet Cookies and choice of Coke, Diet Coke, and Sprite. This will be inside the stadium, with food and a Cash Bar. 
Addition Masonic Colts Jerseys
For those who are not participating in the Flag Ceremony, you can purchase a Masonic Colts Jersey for only $25. These Jerseys will be shipped directly to the primary registrants address and shipping is included in the price. All shirts must be ordered by the deadline of July 31st, no orders will be taken after that date.
Register ONLINE NOW!
Registration is now online at www.indianafreemasons.com/colts. Please make sure you read all the instructions carefully to ensure you get exactly what you order in a timely fashion. Let’s take some time to relax and enjoy our friends and brothers, and take Freemasonry out into public view. Let’s celebrate this great fraternity, and represent it on national television. Let’s make it a day of fun and friends while we cheer on our Colts! 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Masonic Podcast: Freemasonry In The Bakken

Be sure to check out the podcast from North Dakota, Freemasonry In The Bakken on the web or on iTunes (subscribe on itunes at www.BakkenMasons.com/itunes). It is hosted by Master Masons and they discuss many things concerning the fraternity, both about Masons living in North Dakota, and Freemasonry in general. They also feature interviews with influential Masons on various topics. I was interviewed on a recent broadcast, and they do a terrific job. These guys have jumped into this with both feet and are really rejuvenating their lodge and North Dakota Masonry. Hosted by Dr. Bob Baer, Nolan Overton, and Tyler Hall, they currently have 22 episodes on topics that will interest more than just North Dakota Masons. Check them out!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Speaking at the Grand Lodge of North Dakota This Weekend

I'll be speaking this weekend at the Grand Lodge of North Dakota AF&AM, including a talk at the Bismarck public library about what it's like to write a Dummies book. I'm speaking both Friday and Saturday, June 12th and 13th at the Radisson Hotel in Bismarck. Hope all my North Dakota brethren can make it!

The Second Summer International Masonic Workshop In Athens, Greece 8/26-30


 The Second Summer 
International Masonic Workshop 
Athens, Greece 
Wednesday August 26th - Sunday August 30th 2015 

 Indicative topics for papers and presentations 
Historical aspects of Freemasonry | Freemasonry and the Enlightenment | Freemasonry in the World: English, Irish, Scottish, Continental European, Scandinavian, American etc. | Masonic Rituals and Symbolism | Biographies | Masonic International Relations: Regularity, Inter-visitation, Recognition | Masonophobia | Research Lodges | Masonic Heritage: Museums, Libraries & Archives | Heraldic in Freemasonry | Ancient & Medieval Guilds | Fraternalism | Beyond the Craft Orders - Appendant Orders | Women Freemasons | Mixed, Co-Masonry | Revolutions and Freemasonry | Esoteric aspects of Freemasonry | Religion and Freemasonry | Freemasonry and new Technologies | Fine Arts and Freemasonry | Literature and Freemasonry | Freemasonry in Music | The Masonic Charity | Book Review 


Guest speakers 
Robert Bashford 
Dr. Ric Berman 
Dr. Mike Kearsley 

Keynote Speakers 
Chris McClintock 
Dr. Remzi Sanver 
Chris Sariyiannides 

Organised by 
Philotecton Society 

Detailed program: 
www.masonic-events.org 


 Call for short papers 
Every participant wishing to make a short presentation should submit the following information: 
- Name and nationality - A title and an abstract of maximum 150 words not later than June 30th, 2015 
- Contact information (postal and email address, telephone number) 
- Any other information considered essential by him/her (e.g. masonic affiliation, academic institution etc.) 
The application should be sent to the email address: simm@masonic-events.org 
The candidates will receive a notification as to whether or not their abstract has been accepted by July 15th, 2015. Any application submitted later than June 30th, 2015 will be disregarded. 


The Workshop is not affiliated to any masonic or academic body. 
 The Workshop is not in any way a tyled event nor is there going to be any associated tyled meetings. 


Participation to the Second Summer International Masonic Workshop does not require affiliation to any masonic or academic body, nor does it confer any masonic membership. 



Article About Masons In UAE Paper

An article appeared in the United Arab Emirates paper The National about the writer's grandfather being a Mason. It's brief, but gives a thumbnail sketch of Freemasonry in the Middle East. I never knew the UAE and Iraq could ever be so tolerant of Masons.

Check out Secret Societies Fascinate As They Keep Us Guessing by Rym Ghazal:

A relative who was almost 90 passed away recently, and despite efforts to find out more, he stubbornly took his “secret” with him.Well, it wasn’t much of a secret that he was a Freemason, as he always wore his Masonic ring and several details from his life indicated he was part of this special fraternity.But I still say “secret” because Freemasonry began in medieval Europe as a guild for stonemasons and acquired a reputation for secrecy.This relative is believed to have joined the Freemasons via his work at the Iraq Petroleum Company, known before 1929 as the Turkish Petroleum Company. He used to travel and set up businesses in places like Liberia, the US and elsewhere. But he seemed to always have “help” whenever he went.When asked how one joined and other details about the fraternity, he would say no more than that they are “like brothers” and not all Freemasons are very famous and very rich.In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Freemasonry was quite popular in the Middle East, with many important figures such as Lebanon’s first president Charles Debbas, Lebanese poet Khalil Gibran and the late King Hussein of Jordan rumoured to be part of the organisation.There is no room to discuss its complete history but according to several sources, Scots established the first lodge in the Middle East. It was in Aden in 1850. The first Masonic Lodge in Lebanon was chartered by the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1861 and given the name Palestine Lodge No. 415. A lodge in Palestine followed in 1873. The movement went through different phases of activity and inactivity. Today of course one can google the Freemasons and even buy Masonic rings online, but I doubt they are authentic. The public likes to analyse and look for hidden symbols, what they mean and where they originated.

Read the rest of the article here.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Levant Preceptory in Dayton, OH 7/18/2015

Levant Preceptory will be conferring the Order of the Temple in Medieval period gear in Dayton, OH on Saturday, July 18, 2015. The Grand Commandery of Kentucky and the Grand Commandery of Ohio will confer the Illustrious Order of the Red Cross and Order of Malta respectively beginning at 9:30 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time at the Dayton Masonic Center located at 573 W. Riverside Ave. in Dayton. If you have never seen this Order performed by Levant, you are in for a treat. It truly sets the mood of the degree in its proper setting, and leaves a lasting impression, especially for the initiate. Seventy pounds of chainmaille armor, coif, steel helmets and broadswords is an impressive sight. Come out to Dayton and see them.

For more information about Levant Preceptory, see the website or contact Jim Dillman, our fearless leader.

German and Turkish Editions of My Books Now Available

I just received from Wiley the revised edition of Freemasons For Dummies translated into German, and Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies For Dummies translated into Turkish. Freimaurer Für Dummies and Komplo Teorileri ve Gizli Cemiyetler For Dummies Meraklisina are both now available in those countries.

Woo hoo!

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Fire By Arsonist Destroys Trenton, FL Masonic Lodge

Fire has destroyed the Masonic lodge in Trenton, FL and a suspect has been arrested. Read the story by Cindy Swirco from the Gainesville Sun website:

The Masonic lodge in Trenton was destroyed by fire and a suspected arsonist arrested Monday after he was seen taking pictures or video of the blaze, according to City Manager Taylor Brown.
Charged was Jonathan Harrell, who told police he had taken steps to become a Mason but quit the process when he was arrested on unrelated charges.
A resident called 911 to report the fire about 4:19 a.m. at the lodge at 125 NE 2nd Ave.
Trenton police arrived and saw what appeared to be white spray paint of the Masonic logo, stars and the words “truth not light of false” and “The Vigilant.”
The Trenton officer photographed the graffiti before it was destroyed by the fire, Brown said in a press release.
Firefighters arrived and said they found the lodge fully engulfed in flames but worked to keep it from spreading to neighboring buildings. Officers said they spotted Harrell, who was wanted for another crime, photographing the fire amid a crowd of onlookers.
Fire investigators determined the blaze had been set in the front hallway with flammable liquids.
Harrell was later tracked down and interviewed. Brown said Harrell admitted to starting the fire.

Video from Massachusetts


Some happy brethren from Massachusetts made this video recently.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Speaking in California in June




I'll be speaking at Burbank Lodge on June 20th at 4:30PM. The next day I'll be at Newport Mesa Lodge in Newport Beach at 9AM, open to all. Please come out and see me at one or the other. (Click posters to enlarge.)

America's Teenagers Are the Least Religious Group in History

According to the Daily Mail today, America's teenagers are the least religious group in history. Click here for the full article.

Religion and faith is having less of an influence on people's lives, especially the young, according to new research.  The US study claims that millennials - recent teenagers - are the least religious generation of the last six decades and possibly in the nation’s history.It said recent adolescents are less likely to say that religion is important in their lives and spend less time praying or meditating - and future generations are likely be even less religious.Researchers led by psychology professor Jean Twenge from San Diego State University analysed data from 11.2 million respondents from four nationally representative surveys of US adolescents aged 13 to 18 taken between 1966 and 2014. They found that millennials, also known as Generation Y, are less likely to belong to a religious group, or say that faith plays an important role in their daily lives.‘Unlike previous studies, ours is able to show that millennials’ lower religious involvement is due to cultural change, not to millennials being young and unsettled,’ said Professor Twenge, who is also the author of Generation Me.‘Millennial adolescents are less religious than Boomers and GenX’ers were at the same age.‘We also looked at younger ages than the previous studies. More of today’s adolescents are abandoning religion before they reach adulthood, with an increasing number not raised with religion at all.’

Friday, May 29, 2015

Aged or Financially Strapped Indiana Masons In Need of Services

I received this message today from Brother John Solomon here in Indiana:

Hello Chris, wanted to let you know there is a small group of local professionals (plumber, electrician, carpenter, masons, etc.) that will do work for Indiana Master Masons that are otherwise unable due to age or fixed income issues. There is no charge for the service. Most are much too proud to ask for help and we understand that, but sometimes the helpers need a little help too. If you know or hear of anyone struggling please advise and we will take care of them.

Contact him at: hiramshelpers at gmail.com 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

French Freemasonry in English

Brother Laurent Jaunaux writes an excellent blogsite on French Freemasonry, http://www.frenchfreemasonry.org, in English so us Yanks and Brits can more easily navigate the rocky shoals of French Freemasonry's confusing array of grand lodges and Masonic activity. I highly recommend it. It hasn't been updated in a while, but you'll get loads of information.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Jim Dillman at Quinta Essentia Lodge in New Haven, CT

WBro. James Dillman from Indianapolis is speaking Saturday evening, May 16th at Quinta Essentia Lodge 500 in New Haven, Connecticut. They are holding a formal Festive Board and it should be a wonderful and informative evening. Anyone interested should contact the lodge Secretary for further information.



Jim is the President of the Masonic Society and a well regarded Indiana Mason. He is the director of ceremonies for Levant Preceptory, the period dress Knight Templar group based out of Raper Commaandery in Indianapolis. He is the Past President for eight years of the Indianapolis Masonic Temple Board. He is the recipient of the rare Order of Service to Masonry by the Grand Lodge of Indiana, which is not always given. It is not a simple back pat from the Grand Lodge, but an award given for rare dedication to the fraternity. This was in 2008. So it should be an outstanding evening.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Indiana Brethren, We Need Your Help!

CALLING ALL INDIANA BRETHREN!

My wife and Alice I will be working on the sequel to Dwight L. Smith's 1967 book Goodly Heritage, and we will need all the help we can muster. I need as many of you as possible to submit to me a history of the last 50 years of your local lodge: whether you sold your building, how much did your membership increase or decrease, did you merge, any important events, that kind of thing. Send it in Word format to hodapp@aol.com and tell me all you can. I desperately need your help!

Many thanks in advance.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

SRICF (Rosicrucians) Annual Meeting in Louisville, Nov. 6-7, 2015 Reservations


Registration for the Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foedereratis (SRICF) 2015 meeting in Louisville November 6-7 is now open. Go here for a link to the form and the ability to pay via Paypal and credit cards.

The Royal Society of Knights Occidental will hold their Annual Convivial on Friday evening, November 6, and the High Council of the Rosicrucians will have activities all day on November 7, 2015, with the Annual Banquet with a guest speaker that evening.

For hotel reservations at the famous Brown Hotel, go to their website at www.brownhotel.com. Those who miss the elegance of the Hotel Washington in DC will love this hotel. Room rates are $129 with free shuttle service to and from the airport and a special parking rate if you are driving. Make your reservations with the hotel directly by following the link or call 888-888-5252 and tell them you are with the SRICF to receive the special rate.

SCRICF events will begin Friday at 1:00PM, and guest speakers will include RW Fratre Robert Gilbert, IX Degree from the SRIA, who is a renowned speaker on Rosicrucianism, and a video presentation by Christopher MacIntosh, author of several Rosicrucian publications. Grades of the First Order will be presented by the Kentucky College, and RW Fratre Steve Burkle will be hosting an Alchemical Laboratory. The XIII and IX Degrees will be conferred on Friday evening.

There will also be an extensive Ladies Program and dinner.

For more information, contact Franklin C. Boner, Secretary General, SB 46 N 4th Street, Newark, Ohio, Phone 740-345-0828, Email scricfofusa@windstream.net.

Meal/Event Reservation Form Click Here.

Monday, May 04, 2015

A "Masonic Police Department"?



Three people (two men, one woman) are in hot water for impersonating police officers by creating a "Masonic Fraternal Police Department" in Santa Clarita, California. From the website of KHTS AM in Santa Clarita:

County prosecutors filed a complaint against three men sought by Sheriff’s Department officials last week in connection with charges they organized a fake police department and pretended to be officers. 
The court documents accuse three men — David Inkk Henry, aka Rudolph Rusell, 46; Tonette Denise Hayes, 58; and Brandon Kiel, 31 — with charges that include perjury by declaration for calling the “Masonic Fraternal Police Department” a state agency, and impersonating a police officer. 
The allegations stretch back to January, and allege that the three men introduced themselves, in a uniform, as their own police agency, which is against the law.
The investigation is being handled by the Emergency Operations Bureau of the Sheriff’s Department, which released few details, citing “an ongoing investigation.”
Santa Clarita Valley deputies made three arrests Thursday, when a search warrant was served at a Canyon Country home on Linda Vista Drive, and at least two men were charged with impersonating a police officer. 
A website for the group lists the following information:“The Masonic Fraternal Organization is the oldest and most respected organization in the “World.” Grand Masters around the various states are facing serious safety concerns for their Jurisdictions and their family members. The first Police Department was created by the “Knights Templar’s” back in 1100 B.C.” 
A website identifies the group’s “chief of police” as “Chief Henry.”The group’s website also claims to have deeper roots than “other police departments,” because it was “here first.” The organization’s page claims to have a headquarters in Beverly Hills. A call to an 818 number listed there was not answered. 
Henry could face six charges: three counts of perjury pertaining to alleged claims over the fictitious police department, and three counts of impersonating an officer. 
Hayes and Kiel could face six charges, with  five counts of impersonating an officer, and another count citing unlawful use of identity. 
All three were released on various bail amounts and due back in court to answer to the charges.

The group's website contains little information other than this:

The Masonic Fraternal Organization is the oldest and most respected organization in the “World.” Grand Masters around the various states are facing serious safety concerns for their Jurisdictions and their family members. The first Police Department was created by the "Knights Templar's" back in 1100 B.C. 
The Masonic Fraternal Police Department, (M.F.P.D.) is the Knights Templar's!
When asked what is the difference between The Masonic Fraternal Police Department and other Police Departments the answer is simple for us. We were here first! We are born into this Organization our bloodlines go deeper then an application. This is more then a job it is an obligation.
The Masonic Fraternal Police Department (M.F.P.D.) is a Masonic Sovereign Jurisdiction (Municipality) located within the incorporated City of Santa Clarita, California. The Chief of Police is Honorable Grand Master David Henry 33º was elected and is Governed by a Grand Supreme Council, and 33 Masonic Jurisdictions. He currently oversees a 1/2 Million members throughout the United States.
We are not “Sovereign Citizens’ nor do we condone terrorist activity, sovereign citizens or clandestine! 
The Masonic Fraternal Police Department (M.F.P.D.) provides services to Masonic Sovereign Grand Masters and their Masonic Jurisdictions, as well as other Fraternities, Sororities and Greek Organizations. Masonic Fraternal Police Department will be located in 33 other states, including Mexico City. We support all law enforcement agencies. Our mission is to preserve the integrity, honor and legacy of our Founding Fathers, Masonic Organizations, all Grand Masters and their Constitution /By Laws. We will uphold our sworn obligation to protect Sovereign Grand Masters and their jurisdictions. 

When asked what is the difference between The Masonic Fraternal Police Department and other Police Departments the answer is simple for us. We were here first! We are born into this Organization our bloodlines go deeper then an application. This is more then a job it is an obligation.

The Masonic Fraternal Police Department (M.F.P.D.) is a Masonic Sovereign Jurisdiction (Municipality) located within the incorporated City of Santa Clarita, California. The Chief of Police is Honorable Grand Master David Henry 33º was elected and is Governed by a Grand Supreme Council, and 33 Masonic Jurisdictions. He currently oversees a 1/2 Million members throughout the United States.

We are not “Sovereign Citizens’ nor do we condone terrorist activity, sovereign citizens or clandestine!

The Masonic Fraternal Police Department (M.F.P.D.) provides services to Masonic Sovereign Grand Masters and their Masonic Jurisdictions, as well as other Fraternities, Sororities and Greek Organizations. Masonic Fraternal Police Department will be located in 33 other states, including Mexico City. We support all law enforcement agencies. Our mission is to preserve the integrity, honor and legacy of our Founding Fathers, Masonic Organizations, all Grand Masters and their Constitution /By Laws. We will uphold our sworn obligation to protect Sovereign Grand Masters and their jurisdictions.

The Masonic Fraternal Police Department (M.F.P.D.) is a Masonic Sovereign Jurisdiction (Municipality) located within the incorporated City of Santa Clarita, California. The Chief of Police is Honorable Grand Master David Henry 33º was elected and is Governed by a Grand Supreme Council, and 33 Masonic Jurisdictions. He currently oversees a 1/2 Million members throughout the United States.

We are not “Sovereign Citizens’ nor do we condone terrorist activity, sovereign citizens or clandestine!

The Masonic Fraternal Police Department (M.F.P.D.) provides services to Masonic Sovereign Grand Masters and their Masonic Jurisdictions, as well as other Fraternities, Sororities and Greek Organizations. Masonic Fraternal Police Department will be located in 33 other states, including Mexico City. We support all law enforcement agencies. Our mission is to preserve the integrity, honor and legacy of our Founding Fathers, Masonic Organizations, all Grand Masters and their Constitution /By Laws. We will uphold our sworn obligation to protect Sovereign Grand Masters and their jurisdictions.

We are not “Sovereign Citizens’ nor do we condone terrorist activity, sovereign citizens or clandestine! 
The Masonic Fraternal Police Department (M.F.P.D.) provides services to Masonic Sovereign Grand Masters and their Masonic Jurisdictions, as well as other Fraternities, Sororities and Greek Organizations. Masonic Fraternal Police Department will be located in 33 other states, including Mexico City. We support all law enforcement agencies. Our mission is to preserve the integrity, honor and legacy of our Founding Fathers, Masonic Organizations, all Grand Masters and their Constitution /By Laws. We will uphold our sworn obligation to protect Sovereign Grand Masters and their jurisdictions.
God Bless the United States of America!!!!! 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

"Ritual of the Modern Order of the Essenes": What Is It?

A Brother came up to me last night at Lodge Vitruvian's Festive Board with a copy of "Ritual of the Modern Order of the Essenes" by M. Wolcott Redding, which he was amazed that he could read, and wanted to know who the 'Modern Order of the Essesnes' were. I've been asked this question several times over the years. This was an exposure or ritual aid of the Masonic ritual, first published in 1870, and contains the words of the degrees in plain English, with mysterious symbols for key words and actions, like rapping the gavel, knocks, etc. It was published under that name to hide it from the public and avoid criticism by the Masons themselves.

Masonic exposures have been around almost since the beginning of the Premiere Grand Lodge in England in 1717. If they were published out of spite or a desire to weaken the fraternity, it would have happened a long time ago, instead of growing to five million brethren the world over. Most of these books became popular from Masons themselves buying them to help them learn the ritual, and not from a herd of curious onlookers or anti-Masons storming the doors of lodges pretending to be Masons from something they read in an exposure.

For a list of the many exposures published over the years, Gary Dryfoos has it on his website, "A Page About Freemasonry. Click here to see it.

-------------------------------------

UPDATE: I got this message from Jeff Croteau at the Scottish Rite NMJ Museum about disguised ciphers:

Chris,
Nice post on the Essenes ciphers. Some of these ciphers had hilariously and intentionally misleading title pages. I’ve written about three of them on the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library’s blog. I include links here in case they’re of interest:




I hope all’s well.

Best,

Jeff

Jeffrey Croteau
Manager of Library & Archives
Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library

33 Marrett Road | Lexington, MA 02421

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Large Masonic Collection on Ebay This Week, Hobart, Indiana

A man in Hobart, Indiana is selling his extensive Masonic collection on Ebay, and the current price is just $800.

Click here to see it.

The auction ends in six days, and the buyer has to pick it up.

Here is his list:

Greetings:
Today I am selling my entire masonic & Shrine Collection. I have been collecting for over 15 years and have acquired a lot of old and rare one of a kind items related to freemasonry and the shrine. Ebay only allows 12 photos so I did the best I could do at grouping them for photographs. Below is a list of all that will be in the Lot and I do know much more about a lot of the items, but it will be too long to list. Some items are not pictured.
4- masonic swords
3- belts
1- Scottish rite sash
1- masonic alter 1920s??
1- large bible 1960s??
1- masonic worshipful masters chair 1866
1- scythe
1- treasures desk 1880s
1- engraved Robert burns 21x30 picture
1- 1925 Scottish rite class photo
1- 1908 Scottish rite class photo
1- 11x14 masonic presidents photo
1- framed fathers lodge poem 1947
1- 1955 masonic plate
1- green masonic ashtray
9- shrine fez's
1- fez case
5- decanters
1- masonic door handle
1- stewards jewel
1- masonic trowel
1- commemorative medallion
2- masonic pillows
1- masonic ballot box
1- york rite hat with case
1- arch box missing pieces
5- masonic/york rite wall mounts??
3 sets bookend holders
7- glassware/ flask shrine, masonic, and york rite  dating from 1898 to 1908??
1- shrine ashtray 1963
1- decorative paper weight
2- door knockers 
1- medal masonic ashtray 
1- world war I or world war II winchester trench artwork with shell with masonic symbols
1- decoupage old bowl 
1- 1974 ashtray
miscellaneous jewels and coins
1- tylers jewel
1- masonic pocket watch
1- decorative wall plate??
3- wood gavels 
3- medal wall plaques 
1- set york rite gloves
1- lamb skin apron
1- medal masonic stamp dispenser
books: secret society a history, history of the knights templars, the knights templar and their myth, the secret history of free masonry, the little book of freemasonry, the secret founding of america, robert burns selected poems, mackey's symbolism of freemasonry 1946, lexicon of freemasonry 1914, 1965 ahiman rezon 5965, history of the scottish rite valley of indianapolis 1924, morals of dogma 1921, the little book of the holy grail, the lost keys of freemasonry 1942, masonic symbols in american decorative arts 1976, the first crusade a new history, poetry of freemasonry 1895, miscellaneous pamphlets and catalogs

If there are any questions I will answer the best I can. This is for pick up only, Hobart IN. Winner will need to bring boxes and packing material for glassware. Items are located in a basement and I will be able to help lift large items. This is my personal collection and will not separate out for single purchase items.

Thank You

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

New GLofPa Video Tour of Their Temple


The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania has put up a new video tour of their magnificent Temple in Philadelphia. Click the image above to view the YouTube.

H/T to Seth Anthony.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

New French Novel, Translated Into English, About Freemasons

A new book is on the way from two French authors, translated into English, one of whom is a French Freemason.

From PRWeb.com:

In France, Giacometti and Ravenne, said together in one breath, is synonymous with adrenaline-pumping Freemason thrillers/police procedurals that spend months on the top of the charts every time they come out. The authors Eric Giacometti and Jacques Ravenne have written nine to date, sold over 2 million copies of the series in seventeen different languages, and, rumor has it, are currently holed up somewhere in the French countryside working on the next one.
They recently made their debut on the US market with a very successful title called Shadow Ritual, published by Le French Book. Number 1 bestselling author Douglas Preston called the book, "Phenomenal." Kirkus Reviews says the series has "abundant visceral appeal." Reading Reality gave it "Escape Rating A," while Shelf Awareness specifies, “The plot and pacing of a thriller, but the meticulous attention to historical detail sets it apart.”
The series
The series focuses on a Paris police detective named Antoine Marcas. This character stemmed from long arguments the two authors, friends since they were teenagers, kept having. Eric Giacometti, a reporter, had investigated corruption scandals linked to Freemasons on the French Riviera, while Jacques Ravenne, as a master mason, couldn’t understand why the media was so fierce in its attacks against freemasonry. He felt it was unfair and simplistic. From these often-heated discussions, they created a Freemason cop who is proud of his ideals and values, but aware of the pitfalls of the brotherhood.
The novels give readers an inside view of the brotherhood’s real codes and rituals, and these are genuine and accurate because Jacques Ravenne is a Freemason. He is also a historian. In Shadow Ritual, the plot was inspired by an incredible, yet true story: that of the French Freemason archives stolen by the Nazis in 1940. In 1945, the Russians recovered them in Germany and sent them to KGB headquarters in Moscow, where they remained until 2000, when they were finally returned to France.
The books are called "esoteric mysteries" for fans of Dan Brown, but they are also for fans of, among others, early Robert Ludlum thrillers, and anyone interested in a good story and history. In Shadow Ritual, readers won’t find a single Templar shield, an Illuminati hood, or a descendant of Jesus. Rather, readers discover the esoteric side of Nazism, and the persecutions against Freemasons in Occupied France, by both Nazis and the Vichy government.
There's a lot of fact mixed in with the fiction, and as a bonus the authors provide exclusive content here, revealing Freemason secrets and more.
What's next
Encouraged by the initial sales of Shadow Ritual, Le French Book is busy working on translating another book in the series, which is scheduled to come out in English in early 2016. It holds stories of alchemy and information from unpublished documents about the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower that the authors uncovered in the Freemason Library at the Grand Orient of France headquarters in Paris.

Old Master's Scotch To Return To US

I got this message today from Brother Jared Card about Old Master's scotch:

"If you remember the OLD MASTERS SCOTCH that I was representing a few years ago, it has since disappeared from the USA. I now work as a district manager for Impex Beverages, Inc. and we are scotch importers. I am working with my boss to try and bring the OLD MASTERS SCOTCH back into the USA. With the previous importer that I dealt with for this product, there wasn't a large distribution and availability. Impex is in over 40 states and has a large distribution network. If we import the OLD MASTERS, it will be everywhere…"

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

MRF Symposium 8/21-23/15 in Philadelphia

The 6th Annual Masonic Restoration Foundation Symposium (August 21-23, 2015) is now prepared to accept registrations. This year's event will be held in the fabulous Philadelphia Masonic Temple. 

The speakers featured this year will include WB Oscar Alleyne, WB Robert Herd, WB Andrew Hammer, Bro. Ryan Flynn, WB Shawn Eyer, WB Moises Gomez, RW Dan Hrinko, WB Jay Hochberg and Bro. Brian Skoff.

A block of rooms have been reserved for the MRF at the Courtyard Philadelphia Downtown at a rate of $129 a night. Reservations may be made by calling 215-496-3200 and asking for the "Masonic Restoration Foundation Symposium" rate.


Registration information can be found at http://www.masonicrestorationfoundation.org/symposium2015/index.html


The event will begin with an authentic English-styled Festive Board held in the Grand Banquet Hall on Friday evening, conducted by the brethren of Fiat Lux Lodge No. 1717, an English Emulation Lodge chartered under the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia, and featuring comments from our Keynote Speaker, Robert Herd. Along with our usual lineup of interesting speakers, brothers will have the opportunity to see an Entered Apprentice degree using the unique Pennsylvania ritual, conferred by Fritz Lodge No. 308, the host lodge for the Symposium. 


The cost for this event will be $110 (non-refundable) and it is open to all Master Masons (dues cards will be checked). Deadline for registration will be 31 July, 2015. For more information, check the MRF Symposium website, or contact Bro. Brian Skoff, Symposium Organizer, e-mail: brskoff(at)gmail.com

FMFD Product Placement


Thanks to Joe Milner for pointing out this photo from the Melbourne, Australia International Comedy Festival. I never would have spotted it. They also had a guy dressed up as the Grand Master. No doubt rolling up his trouser leg and having a good guffaw.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Harold Davidson, Librarian of the Philalethes, Dies



Brother Harold Davidson, the longtime Librarian for the Philalethes Society, passed away yesterday. Brother Ed Halpaus, President of the Philalethes, posted this moving tribute to him on Facebook. If you are not a member of Facebook, here is the complete post:


It was with great sadness that we learned today (April 13, 2015) of the passing of our good Brother Harold Davidson, FPS. Harold passed to the Celestial lodge above on Friday, April 10th.
I met Brother Harold Davidson soon after I became a member of The Philalethes Society a long time ago. He was a good friend, and one of the best people one could hope to have in his life. I will miss him and our phone conversations.
Brother Harold was the only librarian The Philalethes Society has had. He served as our Librarian for over 30 years. If I remember correctly he mentioned to me that Brother Allen Roberts asked him to be the Librarian when Harold was about 53 years old - he had been doing the job for about 3 years, before the office was created to make him the Librarian. Harold passed at age 86, so that is a long time to serve the members of our society, and he did serve all of us willingly and capably.

I spoke with Brother Harold’s son Scott today, and he told me that his Dad was very proud to be the librarian of The Philalethes, and was also extremely proud that he was elected a Fellow of The Philalethes.
Anyone who ever contacted Harold with questions relating to Masonic Research knew in short order that he had a friend in Harold Davidson (Brother Dave, as his email address said.) I once, as he answered the phone, said ‘hi, Brother Dave’ and then started to apologize for not calling him Harold. I could almost see his smile as he said that’s O.K. I’ve been called Dave since I was a kid, and Brother Dave since I was made Mason.
Brother Harold Davidson began the Billings Masonic Library soon after he retired as a professor of library science, and he was one of the best people one could hope to deal with on used Masonic Books; and when a Mason needed help with research Harold was not only eager to help, he was extremely capable. He would search his memory and his library to find the information needed, he would photocopy it and mail it to the Brother with no charge for postage or copying. As far as I’m concerned Harold was a Mason’s Mason - he was the kind of friend we all hope to be and hope to have.
I will miss him, but I’m not the only one. He will be greatly missed by his family of course, but he will be missed by Masons throughout Montana, and by countless Masons worldwide.
Ed Halpaus
President, The Philalethes Society

There is also an obituary here:  http://www.michelottisawyers.com/harold-l-davidson/ .

Friday, April 10, 2015

Albert Hudson Royds and St. Edmunds Masonic Church


Freemasonry Today has a brief article about Albert Hudson Royds, the Freemason behind St. Edmund's Church in Rochdale, England, the only known church anywhere dedicated to Freemasonry. The architectural details (look at the lectern) contain much true Masonic symbolism, unlike Rosslyn cathedral. The church has been closed for several years and is in a Muslim community now, so it is endangered. It may not be around long, even though it has been listed as an historical place. There is a fund to save the church at: http://www.visitchurches.org.uk/SaveStEdmunds/.

To see the article, click here.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

The Spirit of Freemasonry at Appomattox Court House Today 4/9/15


Today, April 9th, 2015, the regular communication of Hiram-Takoma Lodge No. 10 in Washington, DC will feature a program commemorating the sesquicentenary of the end of the U.S. Civil War presented by RW Paul Bessel, "The Spirit of Freemasonry ay Appomattox Courthouse."  

6:30 PM - Dinner (all are welcome)
7:30 PM - Lodge (Masons only)
8:00 PM - (approximately) Program OPEN to ladies and non-Masons.

April 9, 2015, marks the 150th anniversary of the day that Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his 28,000 troops to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, effectively ending the Civil War.


Stories, some true and some apocryphal, about how some Freemasons on both sides of the Civil War acted at the end of the conflict to try to bring about peaceful reconciliation. It will include how the armies came to be at Appomattox Court House and focus on the special roles played by Union General and Brother (in one day) Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and Confederate General and Brother (maybe) John B. Gordon.

A reception to follow the program in the refectory. 


The address is 115 Carroll Street NW Washington, DC.

Please RSVP to Bud.Michels@gmail.com to ensure sufficient amount of refreshment.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Mark Tabbert at Missouri Lodge of Research 5/16/15



WBro. Mark Tabbert will be the 2015 Truman Lecturer for the Missouri Lodge of Research on Saturday, May 16th. His topic will be "George Washington: Recent Masonic Discoveries." Mark is the  Director of Collections for the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia, and the author of the book American Freemasons: Three Centuries of Building Communities, among several other books.

Tickets are available now at Eventbrite for $30, and includes lunch. Click here. Seating is limited, and access to the event is by reservation only. Proceeds benefit the Lodge of Research.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Lexington (KY) Lodge No. 1 Masonic History & Study Group


(To enlarge image, open it in a new window.)

The legend of Hiram is one of the most impressive allegorical dramas of all time and is the heart of the three degrees. The legend is supposed to each us specific Masonic lessons. But what are they?

Join the Craftsman History & Study Group on April 23rd in Lexington, Kentucky for a presentation entitled "The Invention of the Legend of the Temple, Hiram Abiff and the Ruffians" at Lexington Lodge No. 1, at 7:00PM. No meal will be served. Due to the topic of the meeting, only Master Masons may attend.

For more information, contact The Craftsman at this link.

The Masonic History and Study Group was formed in 2011. The Lodge is located at 3112 Harrodsburg Road next to Fire Station #20-  It is a modern, one level facility with ample parkingLexington Lodge and The Craftsman's Education Program instituted in 2011.  The group provides an interactive experience and discussion forum regarding both historical and present-day Masonic events and trends within the Fraternity.